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There’s nothing mental health-related that doesn’t impact some areas of our life. Most require hospitalization, but even more are optimally served through intensive outpatient treatment (IOP). SLOW is the highest level of intensive outpatient treatment available, taking place in a warm, welcoming environment, but with what other options exist and how will you know outpatient treatment is for you?

Here, we have assembled a comprehensive outline of the rationale of outpatient treatment, the specific approaches utilized by Southern Live Oak Wellness (SLOW), and the decisive factors to seriously consider when making this decision. 

Man discussing Intensive Outpatient Treatment with a therapist

Demystifying Intensive Outpatient Treatment (IOP)

Imagine being wrapped in a therapeutic blanket, where you do as much of your life as you normally do: this is intensive mental health care, more or less, as usual. Intensive Outpatient Treatment is that, at least in theory. 

While you could get something like this secure base for several hours a week, plus a therapeutic program with intermittent group support, you’d go home at the end of the day, and it’s ideal if you can keep a job or go to school or look after the kids.

Unveiling the Benefits of IOP at Southern Live Oak Wellness

 Each journey at SLOW is customized. At our IOP, the benefits include: 

  • Comprehensive care: By specializing in one-on-one support, Judith believes in the perfect treatment fit. Our IOP program provides a variety of evidence-based therapies, but with an integrative approach to find where your mental health struggles stem from, and help you have a more experientially rich and impactful treatment journey. 
  • Seamless Transition Through Treatment: IOP may be a required part of your plan, no matter how you started. If you’ve been in an inpatient program, IOP may help to continue or advance treatment; if you’ve gone through a traditional outpatient counseling session, IOP may aid you in the gap until your therapist has time to resume individual sessions.
  • Respecting your desire to keep private matters private: We appreciate maintaining your privacy. You get the treatment you need when you come to IOP, and you can continue doing the things in the private world you value. 
  • Flexible Scheduling: The world doesn’t stop spinning because you’re getting well. SLOW seeks to reduce the perceived trade-off between life and getting better by offering both a day and night IOP, so you can maintain your day-to-day routine. 
  • Draw Strength from Others: If your brain is sharing pain and struggle, it can also share strength When peer support becomes part of your treatment plan, you have immediate access to one of the best things about treatment. One of the features of our IOP is building community – for example, being with others in a group in the office and also bringing that out into the wider world where you feel less alone in your experience, you can share with others about what you’re facing, and you too can be a message of hope that others will find in their path through recovery.
  • Staying Connected: Concerned about other commitments? IOP allows you to continue treatment for your mental health needs while also taking care of your role at home, work, or school. 
  • Better Outcomes: Research consistently demonstrated that IOP was of clinically significant and lasting benefit in the treatment of a multitude of mental health problems. Patients who actively participate in an IOP program have much better odds of experiencing progressive and sustained improvement – or at the very least, the alleviation, minimization, or elimination of the identified problem, resulting in a good and functional quality of life.
  • Access to Specialist Team: Throughout your stay at SLOW you will have access to specialist therapists, psychiatrists, and nurses trained for certain kinds of pathology.
  • Individualized Therapy: Individualized behavioral therapy is another component of IOP allowing you to gain knowledge about your particular issues while having a trained therapist help you in developing your own custom coping mechanisms. 

Exploring the Methods Used in Outpatient Programs

Group therapy in an intensive outpatient program

Our IOP program isn’t a ‘cookie-cutter’ approach – we use clinical interventions backed by evidence-based treatments to support the unique needs of individuals however they might include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): a quick-action therapy that helps you notice unhelpful thought patterns that stop you from getting better. It includes sets of exercises for taking actions that point you towards feeling better. 
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT): This isn’t just talk therapy. DBT will give you the tools you’ll need to cope with your emotions and your interpersonal difficulties and tolerate distress better. 
  • Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR): Process your trauma experience so the effects of that experience have less and less impact on you if you’ve experienced trauma.
  • Brain Mapping: The QEEG is a window into what is going on in your brain, which we can use to develop a treatment plan for you, and can help to sort out some of the possible reasons why you are having the mental health problems you have.
  • Medication Management: We have an on-site psychiatrist to help safely and effectively stabilize your medication use while we have staff on-call 24/7 to stay alert for medication side effects. Medication Education: So you can take charge of your recovery, we will hold groups and tell you what your medication is and what it does.
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is effective for patients with so-called treatment-resistant depression, in whom a magnetic field is focused on the brain to alter neural activity and reduce symptoms. Safe, Effective Electrotherapy for Pain, Anxiety, Insomnia, Depression – No Drugs, No Side Effects, Non-Addictive.
  • Complementary therapies: We’re not machines but rather beings who are nurtured in mind, body, and spirit to remain well. Here is a listing of complementary therapies: Core therapies will always hold weight at SLOW, but beyond that, we focus on holistic wellness. Examples include nutritional counseling, outdoor recreation, reiki, animal-assisted therapy, life skills training, and music therapy.

Determining if Outpatient Therapy is Right for You: A Self-Assessment

Given that you now have some sense of the advantages and interventions used in our Intensive Outpatient Treatment, you might be wondering if IOP is the right choice for you. Consider the following:

  • Level of Care Needed: You need more care than you receive in outpatient care, which is individually designed. But you don’t need complete immersion in a structured daily routine that attendance in rehabilitation provides. IOP sits in the middle between the two. A careful combination of both levels of care is needed to provide you with a valuable experience.
  • Life Balance: Are you struggling to maintain your symptoms of alcoholism or drug and/or mental health issues while working, going to school, or raising your family? IOP allows you to continue to be a contributing member of your job, school, or family while you receive help.
  • Advantages of Structure and Support: Do you need a framework around practicing coping skills along with opportunities to practice those skills in the ‘real world’? If so, IOP will provide this framework and direct support for applying these skills in the ‘real world’. 
  •  Looking for Comrades Are you looking for a commune of people who get it? The strength of a like-minded community can be life-giving in the crucible of an IOP program.

If these questions sound familiar to you, you can contact Southern Live Oak Wellness to inquire about Intensive Outpatient programs. 

Taking the First Step Towards a Brighter Future

Therapist speaking with a patient

Courage is required to take that step so please reach out if you want more info on IOP at SLOW and how we can help. Call us for a free no-obligation confidential consultation to discuss your needs and concerns and then we can answer your questions about how we can help you. Investing in your health is investing in your wellness. Southern Live Oak Wellness is here to provide care on the road to healing and living.

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Take the first step towards the future you deserve.

Our Testimonials

What Our Clients Say

  • star star star star star

    I have so much to say about this wonderful place, but I’m sure my words will never do my experience justice. Southern Live Oak Wellness and it’s people not only helped me find myself again, but they saved my life.

    Alex M.

    Johns Creek, GA
  • star star star star star

    Southern Live Oak Wellness saved my life. The therapists genuinely care about the clients and helping them get better. Working on yourself is not easy, but the therapists help guide you and make you be able to work through whatever may be going on.

    Rachel S.

    Lawrenceville, GA
  • star star star star star

    I can easily say that Southern Live Oak wellness saved my life. I had hit rock bottom when I first got admitted and they helped me build myself up from nothing. I have learned how to cope with things I never thought I would be able to handle.

    Taylor R.

    Dallas, GA
    • star star star star star

      Going to SLOW has impacted my life in ways I never thought possible. I came for help with my mental state and came out with so much more; life skills, medical advice, mental health counseling and addiction treatment. SLOW is a whole life transformation program and I highly recommend it to anyone I know!

      Kaylan F.

      Kennesaw, GA
    • star star star star star

      When I was a part of this program, I had the most personal growth I’ve had in my entire life. All of the tech staff were willing to talk to me whenever I felt like I needed someone to talk to and the group sessions gave me multiple perspectives I never would’ve thought of from people in similar situations to me.

      Dylan C.

      Belleville, IL
    • star star star star star

      This place has changed my life. For the first time in my life I felt heard and cared about. The clinical staff is amazing. The groups are well structured. You learn a lot of different skills to help you in life this is the best mental health facility to come to.

      Ashley H.

      Brunswick, GA

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